Russia prepares for court battle with Ukraine on USD 3 bln debt



22 декабря 2015 года
Конкорд Капитал

The Russian Finance Ministry is going to wait until the end of grace period, Dec. 31, to see whether Ukraine repays its USD 3 bln Eurobond, the ministry’s Dec. 21 press release stated. According to MinFin’s position, Ukraine refused to “lead the negotiations based on the Russian president’s offer made during the G-20 meeting in Antalya”. “The IMF board recognized the USD 3 bln Eurobonds owned by Russia as an official loan, but Ukraine has made no offer that is based on such status of the bonds,” the release stated.

The same day, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev ordered Cabinet members to start preparing legal actions aimed at recovering the debt, as soon as the grace period expires, the RIA Novosti news agency reported. “Based on the declarations of Ukrainian officials, they are not going to pay,” Medvedev said.

Recall, the Ukrainian government officially ruled on Dec. 18 to suspend any payments on the USD 3 bln Eurobond. The same day, Ukraine’s MinFin stated that it remains committed “to negotiating in good faith” with the holders of the Eurobond “while meeting its contractual commitments to other bondholders”.

Alexander Paraschiy: It’s amusing to hear the Russians refer to a Ukrainian government decree that suspends a USD 3 bln bond repayment as “declaration of Ukrainian officials.” This is how they treat the official power brokers of Ukraine. Clearly, it does not look possible for Ukraine to continue any talks on the debt with Russia directly. Also, it’s strange to hear that Ukraine refused to work on Putin’s offer to restructure this debt. Recall, Putin’s core demand was that the U.S., the EU, or any international bank provide a loan guarantee, and no one agreed to do so. This is why Ukraine had no chance to even start talks on Putin’s offer.

At this stage, Ukraine is not hurrying to address the Russian government as the official creditor, possibly counting on the possibility that a London court, unlike the IMF, won’t recognize this debt as official.

Источник: Конкорд Капитал



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